That’s left the Warren campaign to wonder whether a path forward exists. While the campaign had insisted it still saw an opening by going to the convention – she will likely collect at least several dozen delegates Tuesday – the results were far below their own publicly-released projections.
Three weeks ago, the campaign said it was “poised” to finish in the top-two in eight of the 14 states that vote on Super Tuesday. She didn’t in any, including her home state of Massachusetts. (California votes are still being counted but she is currently running a distant-fourth.)
This past weekend, the campaign and allies predicted that the field winnowing would redound to Warren’s benefit. It didn’t.
The campaign also has financial constraints that come with a unionized staff of over 1, 04 people – the largest field operation in the race besides Mike Bloomberg’s – even after raising $ 728 million in February . With a payroll at over $ 6 million per month, the campaign likely needs to keep at least several million dollars on hand to cover paychecks, benefits, and other assorted shutdown costs to avoid going into debt. Warren was able to raise a significant amount of that money with her strong debate performances, but there is not another debate until March
The super PAC that provided over $ 15 million in air cover to Warren ahead of Super Tuesday also has said it is not placing ad buys for March 12. Warren herself has no public events planned until Friday. Perhaps anticipating that the night would go poorly, she did not give a traditional election night speech but rather held a regular town hall in Detroit, which votes next week, just as results began to roll in. She hardly mentioned the elections happening Tuesday.
With Joe Biden’s tour de force showing, progressives outside the campaign are wondering about the best way to still nominate someone more progressive.
On Twitter, Warren staffers also appeared as if they were bracing for the end. Some talked about how “proud” they were of the team, others stoically tweeted: “I am a Warren Democrat.”
Other staffers, who are usually unflappably positive on social media, vented their frustration with sexism, Sanders supporters, and the state of the race.
The night even had two staffers openly exchanging barbs on Twitter over whether some Warren aides were too “privileged.” (POLITICO sent screenshots of the tweets to a Warren spokesperson but did not receive a response.)
For the most disciplined campaign in the Democratic field, the public infighting was another sign that the string of losses has rattled and demoralized her team.
The campaign’s design director was especially dark, writing: “This is a product of a sad drunk brain and a lifetime of sci-fi, but I keep thinking about the Coronavirus and fiction universe in which it turn us all into zombies and a small group of heroes try to go back in time to elect Warren because she was the only one with a plan. ”